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To aid Titus and the Cretan churches in appointing qualified elders so that the churches are properly ordered, Paul, in vv. 6-9, sets forth three areas where an elder must be “above reproach.” The three areas where a prospective elder must be free of a damaging accusation are his family life, personal life and doctrinal life. In v. 9, Paul sets forth the most important qualification, namely an elder must be above reproach in his doctrinal life.
“Let the little children come to me, do not hinder them.” As I said last week it’s a beautiful picture, an idyllic scene really. What could be more endearing to the hearts of parents than to see Jesus taking their sons and daughters into His arms and blessing them? This beautiful picture has led some Christians to raise the question about bringing children to the Lord’s Table. If they are baptized and included in the visible covenant family of Christ then why should they be excluded from the family table and family meal? This discussion and debate has really picked up speed in the past couple of decades and it came into our denomination in the form of an overture to Synod in 2006. After several years of discussion and study, the CRC at the 2011 Synod opened the table to baptized children without making a profession of faith. Last November our elders sent out a letter to this congregation saying in part the following: “The Elders of First CRC have discussed, studied, reviewed and prayed about this decision and have come with a policy approved unanimously at the October 2, 2012 elders meeting. “It is our recommendation that with the children at the Lord’s Table issue, we maintain the historical perspective of the Christian Reformed Church (especially in light of the warnings found in 1 Corinthians 11: 23-32). Children and young people are encouraged to know their Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, and make a formal public profession of faith, as we currently do, before partaking of the Lord’s Supper thereby being held accountable to our Lord and to the Elders as communicant members to enjoy the blessings of such membership and to bear its obligations and responsibilities.” Since we are in this text in Mark 10 about children and since today is a Sunday we observe the Lord’s Table, I have decided to explain the elder’s position from Scripture. If we are to come into the Kingdom of God as little children, should we come to the table of our Lord not just as children but even while we still actually are children?
To aid Titus and the Cretan churches in appointing qualified elders so that the churches are properly ordered, Paul, in vv. 6-9, sets forth three areas where an elder must be “above reproach.” The three areas where a prospective elder must be free of a damaging accusation are his family life, personal life and doctrinal life. The first area a prospective elder must be above reproach is in his family life. He must be the husband of one wife and have faithful children. Second, an elder must not only be able to manage his own marriage and family well (1:6) but he must also be able to manage himself well. Therefore, in vv. 7-8, Paul lists five sinful vices and six godly virtues, which define what it means for an elder to be “above reproach” in his personal life. These eleven qualities, which are evidence of God's transforming grace, are essential to fitness for oversight of God's household.
Part 3. When the Disciples turned children away from Jesus, He spoke up and told us what to give up to enter the Kingdom of God.
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